Category Archives: jazz waltz

Who Can I Turn To?
Giving this Standard a Jazz Waltz Spin

Despite the fact that most of the jazz standards come from the Great America Songbook (late 1920s to early 1950s), there are a few exceptions. Today’s featured selection is a notable example.

Two Englishmen named Leslie Bricusse (b. 1931) and Anthony Newley (1931-1999) collaborated to write Who Can I Turn To? for a musical called The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd which was launched in England in 1964 and then toured the USA.

As often happens, the producers hope to draw attention to their show by releasing a recording of the theme song. Unfortunately for them, Shirley Bassey’s single did not garner much success. Fortunately, there was a follow-up recording this time by Tony Bennett, which did hit number 33 on the pop charts.

Since then, Tony has sung Who Can I Turn To? as a solo and duet both in concert and on recordings many times throughout his amazing career. Although I’m not sure exactly how Who Can I Turn To? went from a popular to song to a jazz standard, I will say that the song’s structure and chord progressions went a long way towards its popularity with jazz instrumentalists and vocalists.

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Giving this Standard a Jazz Waltz Spin

Over the Rainbow Jazz Waltz Style

Before getting into today’s featured selection, I’d like to remind you that the Diana Mascari Jazz Trio featuring Rebecca Wellons and Marliese Ballon, will be performing again soon on April 4th from 7:30 -10:00 PM at our regular first-Saturday-of-the-month gig at Hudson’s Harvest Café.

We hope you can join us to hear an upbeat mixture of standards, jazz tunes and inspiring originals guaranteed to keep your feet tapping. Check out our other upcoming gigs as well as our new performance videos.

Although our jazz trio had performed Over the Rainbow as a bluesy ballad in the past, we felt that it would be better to play this timeless standard at a faster tempo. The reason for this is that our listening audiences appreciate music that is more lively and upbeat.

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Falling in Love with Love and The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

It seems to me that the dance of romance has always been the waltz. I can tell you that through all the years of my performing career, when a couple wanted a special dance, a waltz was always requested. At weddings it was usually Daddy’s Little Girl, Sunrise Sunset or The Anniversary Waltz. Then there were others such as Fascination, Moon River, Always and the one so many of my students learn to play, Edelweiss.

When my brother Charles and I were working up in the Italian side of the Catskill Mountains one summer, the hotel owner’s father (aka Singing Sam the Jolly House Man) would list the activities for the week. In his announcements he would say, “…and we got the Mascari Trio, they’re damn good if they play a waltz once in a while.” How could we not want to play a waltz with that introduction?

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Someday My Prince Will Come

If you are a baby-boomer like me, you grew up at the time when watching many of the Walt Disney feature films was part of your life experience. When we took my first grandson to his first movie in the theatre, it was another Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. I remember how impressed I was when I heard the music, because the Disney quality was still there even in this more contemporary style.

There is a major difference, however, between the Disney film scores from the past and those of today. It’s no surprise though, because the music for today’s post Someday My Prince Will Come was composed in 1937. As I have often said the standards from the American Popular Songbook (1920s – 1940s) were composed in a certain style that lends itself to individual interpretation and inspiration for the pianist.

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